The honorary chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic, was sentenced to 6 years and three months in jail for being a member of terror group, whereas the group’s former director İdil Eser was sentenced to 2 years and one month for aiding a terror group.
Amnesty members Günal Kursun and Özlem Dalgiran had been additionally given two years and one month sentences for aiding a terror group.
The human rights group denies all of the charges and stated that each allegation in opposition to its members has been “comprehensively exposed as a baseless slur.”
Another seven defendants had been acquitted. The 11 human rights activists had been arrested and charged in the summertime of 2017 on terrorism charges.
The defendants have the proper to enchantment to the Court of Appeal, which Amnesty Turkey tweeted that they are going to use. “As we said before the trial, we will not accept even one of our friends to be sentenced. We will continue to follow the case through higher courts,” it stated.
The 4 activists is not going to be imprisoned pending their appeals. The enchantment course of might take months or years.
“The decision of the court is staggering. During 12 court hearings, each and every allegation has been comprehensively exposed as a baseless slur. The court’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial as the politically motivated attempt to silence independent voices it was from day one,” Gardner added.
Kilic denies being a member of the group, headed by the US-based preacher Gulen, who Turkey blames for masterminding the 2016 coup try throughout which round 250 folks died.
The different 10 defendants, together with Amnesty International Turkey’s former director Eser, had been arrested individually at a lodge on the island of Büyükada, off the coast of Istanbul, the place they had been attending a digital safety workshop.
According to Human Rights Watch, “terrorism charges continued to be widely used” for the reason that failed coup try and plenty of terrorism trials in Turkey “lack compelling evidence of criminal activity.”
The apply of holding people charged with terrorism offenses in extended pre-trial detention “raised concerns its use has become a form of summary punishment,” it stated.
The verdict comes simply months after the distinguished philanthropist, Osman Kavala, was given a quick style of freedom when he was acquitted over 2013 protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park — after which hours later re-arrested for alleged hyperlinks to the coup.
But the celebrations for the acquitted activists had been brief lived, after prosecutors introduced Kavala would stay in detention.
Milena Buyum, Amnesty International’s Turkey campaigner, stated in a press release that the choice smacked of “deliberate and calculated cruelty.”
Isil Sariyuce reported from Istanbul. CNN’s Sheena McKenzie and Emma Reynolds wrote from London. CNN’s Jomana Karadsheh and Yusuf Gezer contributed to this report